Rhodiola is used as a so-called "adaptogen", to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress, and for many other uses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Some people use the term "arctic root" as the general name for this product; however, arctic root is actually a trademarked name for a specific commercial extract.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Altitude sickness. Early research shows that taking rhodiola four times per day for 7 days doesn't improve blood oxygen or oxidative stress in people in high-altitude conditions.
- Heart damage caused by certain cancer drugs (anthracycline cardiotoxicity). Early research shows that taking a chemical found in rhodiola called salidroside, starting one week before chemotherapy and continuing throughout chemotherapy, reduces heart damage caused by the chemotherapy drug epirubicin.
- Anxiety. Early research shows that taking a specific rhodiola extract twice daily for 14 days can improve anxiety levels and reduce feelings of anger, confusion, and poor mood in college students with anxiety.
- Athletic performance. There is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of rhodiola for improving athletic performance. Overall, it seems that short-term use of some types of rhodiola products might improve measurements of athletic performance. However, neither short-term nor long-term doses seem to improve muscle function or reduce muscle damage due to exercise.
- Depression. Early research shows that taking rhodiola might improve symptoms of depression after 6-12 weeks of treatment in people with mild-to-moderate depression.
- Fatigue. Early research shows that rhodiola might decrease fatigue in stressful situations. A specific rhodiola extract seems to decrease fatigue and increase a sense of well-being in students taking exams, night-shift workers, and sleep-deprived military cadets. Other rhodiola extracts also seem to reduce mental fatigue in first-year college students and adults experiencing burnout. There is conflicting evidence regarding a combination product containing rhodiola extract, schisandra berry extract, and Siberian ginseng extract. Some research shows it improves mental performance in tired individuals performing mental tasks. Other research shows it doesn't work.
- A type of persistent anxiety marked by exaggerated worry and tension (generalized anxiety disorder or GAD). Early research shows that specific rhodiola extract might lower anxiety and depression in people with this condition.
- Early orgasm in men (premature ejaculation). Early research shows that taking a specific product containing rhodiola with other ingredients might slightly increase how long it takes to ejaculate and improve a man's control over ejaculation. But higher quality research is needed to confirm.
- Stress. Early research shows that taking a specific rhodiola extract before breakfast and lunch can improve stress symptoms in people with life-stress, college students with anxiety, and people experiencing burnout.
- Hearing loss.
- High cholesterol.
- Increasing energy.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Stress-associated heart disorders.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Other conditions.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Autoimmune diseases: Rhodiola might simulate the immune system. In theory, it might worsen autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and others.
Diabetes: Rhodiola might reduce blood sugar levels. In theory, rhodiola might increase the risk of blood sugar levels becoming too low, especially in patients taking insulin or other diabetes medications.
Low blood pressure: Rhodiola might lower blood pressure. In theory, rhodiola might cause blood pressure to become too low, especially in people who already have low blood pressure.
We currently have no information for RHODIOLA Interactions.
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.